Italian government to combat match-fixing
Monday 06 June 2011
A senior Italian government official has called for a special task force to combat football match-fixing following the latest scandal to tarnish the national sport.
Interior Minister Roberto Maroni told Monday's Gazzetta dello Sport that he has given orders for elite police forces to begin investigating football corruption.
"We want to determine the best ways for prevention and repression of clandestine betting on football matches," Maroni said.
Maroni's announcement followed an emergency meeting between Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Petrucci and football federation president Giancarlo Abete on Sunday in which the pair called for more cooperation with government authorities.
Sixteen people were arrested up and down Italy last week for alleged involvement in a match-fixing and betting ring. Some 18 matches — mostly in Serie B and C — are under investigation by prosecutors in Cremona, where the probe is based.
Matches involving Atalanta and Siena are among those under investigation, which could put the two clubs' recent promotion back into Serie A at risk.
Former Lazio captain Giuseppe Signori was among those arrested, as was Benevento goalkeeper Marco Paoloni.
The investigation began following a Serie C match between Cremonese and Paganese in November. Cremonese players allegedly had their drinks spiked with drugs so they wouldn't play well, and several players felt ill afterward.
Paoloni, who was with Cremonese at the time, has reportedly admitted he was responsible for drugging his teammates.
"I made a mistake and I take full responsibility," Paoloni was quoted as saying by La Repubblica on Sunday.
Paoloni allegedly used his wife's signature to get a prescription for a sleeping drug from a dentist in Ancona, Marco Pirani.
"For seven months I haven't been able to live. I had trouble sleeping — as soon as I fell asleep I woke up again and thought about all the idiotic things that I was doing," Paoloni said, according to Repubblica. "I'm in jail but I feel like I've been freed."
Latest in Sport
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Sir Alex Ferguson reveals who he thinks is better between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
Chelsea transfer news: 'Eden Hazard will cost Real Madrid £100m - and a Galactico,' says Jose Mourinho
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 4 The most powerful passports in the world
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove